I have suspected this for some time now but did not see enough evidence. I thought that the experts can’t be wrong. All the research that has been done, and who am I to doubt it? However, more and more doctors are beginning to see the light.
Yes, the health industry has had it wrong yet again. Just like with the low-fat craze so it is with calcium. If you want strong bones you need to drink more milk (low-fat of course), eat more cheese or take calcium supplements, and so on…
Following this advice is not just useless and expensive – it can be downright dangerous. That’s correct, too much calcium can cause a 30% increase in risk of a heart attack. Furthermore, it is linked with kidney stones, nausea, muscle weakness, digestive problems and even brain damage!
But it surely it is good for the bones, right? Well, kind of. The bones are built from it, sure, but calcium supplements can also block absorption of manganese and that is actually bad for the bones.
So what is going on here? Are we missing a key piece in this complex jigsaw puzzle? More like we have one piece and are missing all the other ones… Well, I found a few more pieces.
First of all, hormones protect the bones. There are many. Estrogens are prescribed for women, although, these treatments can be controversial. Testosterone is needed by men. Parathyroid hormone (PHT) is designed to have a direct effect on the bones. But when parathyroid glands go out of order, too much of PHT will cause calcium to go out of bones and into the blood. Opposite to what is desired. If concerned, ask your doctor for advice on hyperparathyroidism.
Next is vitamin D. It controls the amount of calcium stored in the body. As you can see, you can be taking a lot of calcium in, but without a vitamin D it just stays in the blood causing problems. The best source of vitamin D is sunlight and 20 minutes a day is sufficient. But what has the health industry done? It made us paranoid about it.
Then there is another vitamin about which not much has been heard. It is vitamin K and it regulates yet another hormone, osteocalcin, which enhances the bones. Vitamin K can be found in the green leafy vegetables, or you can supplement it if you like.
There is also a natural sugar that helps to reverse bone loss. In some animal studies, older rats that have been givel xylitol have actually increased their bone densities. Now this is exciting news, as xylitol has many other health benefits.
And of course, there is the good old-fashioned resistance training. There are many studies that show that weight training not only builds muscles, but also makes for denser bones.
So there you have it. Some sun, a balanced diet, exercise and you will avoid pain, expenses and loss of freedom later in life.